Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes pain and swelling in the throat. This condition, caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, can affect people of all ages, but it is especially prevalent in children between five and 15. The contagious condition is easily spread through any bodily contact. Typically, sneezing and coughing are the primary methods of transferring this organism between hosts. The symptoms of strep throat can vary in severity.
A fever generally means the body is fighting an illness or infection. A person with strep throat will generally develop a temperature of above 101 degrees Fahrenheit which will last at least 48 hours. During this time, over-the-counter pain relief medications can help lower the fever, but the individual should see a doctor as well, to begin treatment for the infection. Cold compresses may also help lower the fever. Parents should be cautious about administering OTC medications to their feverish children because mixing OTC pain medications with influenza and strep throat can result in a deadly reaction called Reye’s syndrome.
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